Day Seven – Obedience, not sacrifice

Today’s Scripture: 1 Samuel 15:1-35

The Lord’s patience is amazing. He gave Saul one more test. Samuel instructed him to attack another enemy—the Amalekites—for their previous actions against Israel (see Exod. 17:8-16; Deut. 25:19). Saul’s instructions were clear: Totally destroy everything . . . do not spare anything or anyone.

Saul and his army experienced a great victory over the Amalekites. However, instead of destroying everything as they were instructed, Saul and his men took the Amalekite King Agag alive and kept the best of the cattle. The Lord was not pleased, and Samuel was distressed.

When Samuel went out to confront Saul, he discovered the king was busy erecting a monument in his own honor. Saul’s pride led him to believe that he warranted a self-made shrine more than the Lord deserved an altar.

Samuel challenged Saul, “Why did you not obey the Lord?” Saul’s answer was incredible: “But I did obey the Lord.” His explanation became a justification for his disobedience. Even when he claimed his intention was to sacrifice the Amalekite animals to the Lord, Samuel warned, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

God had extended mercy to Saul and the Israelites several times. But, because Saul insisted on doing the Lord’s will his own way, he was removed from his royal position and the Lord lifted His hand from Saul’s life. What followed were years of turmoil and distress for the nation.

Bottom line: The most secure and peaceful place to be is right in the center of God’s perfect will.

  • How can a person keep from compromising God’s will?
  • How will your relationship with the Lord be different following this week’s quest?


Post your thoughts, insights, and challenges.